We're only hours away from the big show now, in what has been one of the oddest Oscar seasons in recent memory. This is a year where the presumed front runner for Best Picture is a film which, statistically speaking, shouldn't really have a shot, in which an inordinate number of actors are pursuing their third Oscar (Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington, Sally Field, and Robert De Niro), and in which the most celebrated director of the year isn't even nominated. This has been a weird year and as a result I feel far less confident in my predictions than I have in any year past. Nevertheless...
Best Picture: Argo
My head says Lincoln but my heart says Argo. Although the latter has been picking up Best Picture awards left, right and centre, that pesky lack of a Best Director Oscar nomination remains a pretty big hurdle. Still, I've got to go with Argo.
Best Director: Ang Lee, Life of Pi
I've been going back and forth in my mind over whether to go with Lee or with Steven Spielbergh for this one. I've decided to go with the former, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see the latter take the prize.
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
When nominations were first announced, it looked like it was going to be a battle between Lawrence and Jessica Chastain, but as the controversy surrounding Zero Dark Thirty has continued, Chastain seems to have faded from the race, while Amour's Emmanuelle Riva has experienced a definite surge. Riva could take it, but AMPAS' obvious affection for Silver Lining's Playbook makes me think Lawrence has the edge - even if only ever so slightly.
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Of the big categories, this one seems to be the one that's most up in the air. Honestly, the only nominee I would actually be surprised to see take the prize is Alan Arkin, so my pick here is based on nothing save my own preference.
Best Original Screenplay: Amour
Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo
Best Film Editing: Argo
Best Cinematography: Life of Pi
Best Production Design: Anna Karenina
Best Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Les Miserables
Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Best Sound Editing: Life of Pi
Best Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
Best Original Score: Argo
Best Original Song: Skyfall, Skyfall
Best Animated Feature: Wreck-It-Ralph
Best Documentary Feature: The Gatekeepers
Best Foreign Language Film: Amour